Our original coop that was built in 2014 has done well; it’s given shelter and security to a lot of hens but it’s time for a refurbishment!
Today’s job was to assess and clean the coop, removing most of the items that added extra weight such as the doors, nest box and floor, so that the coop could be moved from it’s fixed position.
As expected there’s mite infestation that needs to be dealt with – it’s not as horrific as some we’ve seen as we’ve tried to keep on top of it this summer, but there’s still evidence of mites. Our approach to this is to first soak with a pressure washer – not using high pressure just yet as that will only blast the mites somewhere else. After that the whole coop is given a thorough dose of Poultry Shield to clean the woodwork and when applied to mite, it will wash off their waxy coating and in theory the mites will be dried out in about 48 hours. In addition to Poultry Shield we use Nettex Total Mite, again spraying into all the nooks and crannies of the coop.
After over 4 years the wood has held up well. There’s been a lot of expected expansion and contraction over the seasons and this has left gaps between the tongue and groove boards, and in future I would use sheet material instead of this type of cladding. The ironmongery is showing signs of rust though and this will be replaced with stronger galvanised hinges and bolts, and the roofing feather-edge timber, whilst okay, needs removed, cleaned and re-attached with screws rather than nails.
The initial objective is to give this coop a thorough clean, replace the ironmongery and add large castors for mobility, so that some of the new hens can move in whilst they integrate with the flock. After that there will be some re-design to replace some of the solid doors with weldmesh versions to increase ventilation and light and the whole coop will be painted in the same colour scheme as the shed to give it more protection against the weather.
That’s for another day though, just now we’ll let the coop thoroughly dry then come back to re-assemble the doors and attach the wheels.